Choosing (and Changing) Your Concentration

At the end of my sophomore year, I sat down with my advisor to formally declare my concentration. “Finance and OPIM,” I told her, and she marked it into the computer.

Wharton’s curriculum requires all undergraduates to take nine “core” classes, which includes one or two classes in each sector of business. It is said that just taking the core prepares students for any job they would like to pursue after school. Meanwhile, concentrations, consisting of four upper-level classes, offer more in-depth knowledge in specific areas of interest. Because of this structure, choosing my concentrations did not seem like a life-altering or limiting decision, and that sentiment holds true to today.

Later that day, I was browsing through Penn InTouch, a site that Penn students use to register for classes. I stumbled upon some entrepreneurship classes, and I found myself wanting to take them. Of course, I could take a couple as business electives, but I wanted to take ALL of them…and I wanted to concentrate in it. So just a few hours after my advising appointment, I emailed my advisor and asked to change my Finance concentration to Management (Entrepreneurship). She responded saying she’d make the change, but what had changed in the last few hours?

Upon receiving her response, I realized how ridiculous I must have seemed; but really, choosing a concentration is not an easy decision. With 20+ options that all involve fascinating courses and incredible professors, each one I looked at seemed more interesting than the next. However, I stuck with my decision of OPIM (Operations and Information Management with a specialization in Business Analytics) and MGMT (Management with a specialization in Entrepreneurship), and I am so happy that I did, as the classes seem to suit me perfectly. And the best part is, the flexibility of the Wharton curriculum still allows me the opportunity to take upper-level classes in other areas of interest. I’ve found that regardless of which concentration a student chooses, it really enhances the core Wharton experience, so that all students get a well-rounded yet individualized experience.

I am a junior from Delray Beach, Florida, and I am concentrating in OPIM and MGMT. On campus, I am involved in Greek life and I play on the varsity golf team.